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Intro

Adaptibar is a supplemental program you can use to help you prepare for the MBE (multi-state) portion of the bar exam.

This is a comprehensive review of Adaptibar to help you understand the many benefits of Adaptibar and how it can help you prepare for the MBE.  After you read this Adaptibar review, you can then consider whether it is worth it for you or not.  Only you can make this decision based on your studying habits and needs.  If you determine that you need the supplemental program to help you prepare for the MBE, then click on this link and we will apply a discount code to help you save $30 when purchasing the Adaptibar program (this is an affiliate).  The discount will apply automatically during checkout.

Before we get started on the review, take a look at the following video from Adaptibar to get a general idea of the program.

What does Adaptibar offer?

Adaptibar is a computer-based online program that helps you prepare for the MBE (multi-state) portion of the exam.  In its program, they use at least 1,500 actual MBE questions that were used in previous exams and that have now been released by the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE).  In addition, it offers at least 200 simulated Civil Procedure MBE questions.  In sum, you have access to at least 1,700 MBE questions covering all seven subjects of the MBE.

The seven subjects are:

  1. Civil Procedure**
  2. Constitutional Law
  3. Contracts
  4. Criminal Law
  5. Evidence
  6. Real Property
  7. Torts

** Based on what we know, the NCBE has not released any actual Civil Procedure MBE questions that Adaptibar can use.  Therefore, Adaptibar, working with legal experts, have formulated simulated Civil Procedure questions that would mirror what you can expect to find on the MBE.

In addition to having access to simulated and real MBE questions, you have access to detailed explanations for each question.  Some of the explanations can be helpful, while others may not be as much.  You also have access to various detailed reports that show your progress and performance.  These reports can be a lifesaver that can help you narrow and focus your studying – especially if you are in a time crunch.

Now that you have a general idea of what Adaptibar is, here are some pros and cons.

Pros

  • Computer-based training allows you to take your studying anywhere at any time (even when you don’t have access to the internet — read on for details).
  • Access to real MBE questions licensed and released by the NCBE.
  • Personalized reports tracking your performance in the MBE subject areas.
  • Ability to see how you compare to other users of Adaptibar.
  • Ability to only practice subject and specific topic areas that you are struggling in.
  • Explanations to each question.
  • You are able to highlight portions of the question stem, as you do in paper format. (Don’t get too comfortable with highlighting because a highlighter is not allowed on the Virginia bar exam.  If you are reading this AdaptiBar review and taking a bar exam for a different jurisdiction, then please check the rules for that jurisdiction)

Cons

  • Depending on your studying habits and norms, you can’t really simulate a real MBE exam in its “exam mode”, since the real MBE exam is in paper format.
  • You can get tired of staring at a screen for 4+ hours a day.
  • You are paying $395 on top of your comprehensive bar preparation program. (Depending on the amount of help you need, however, this may be worth it — and remember, we are going to help you save $30 on the program).

Details of Adaptibar

When you login to Adaptibar, you will first see a dashboard that summarizes your performance, progress, and provides a countdown until the MBE portion of the bar exam.

You can access specific sections of the Adaptibar program from the menu on the left.  For example, if you have purchased any flashcards and video lectures, you can access them from the left.  Otherwise, you can practice MBE questions or take a practice MBE exam.

Another important feature of the dashboard is that you will immediately see the number of questions you have answered and your overall correct percentage.  This is helpful because you can then determine how you are performing and whether you believe you need additional practice on the MBE.  If you are satisfied with your score, then you can focus your studies on other parts of the bar exam (i.e. essays).

You will also see, as part of the dashboard, the average number of questions other Adaptibar students have completed and how they are performing.  This is a good comparison so that you have an idea of where you perform.

It’s important to note, however, that Adaptibar doesn’t mention how those numbers are being calculated.  It is unclear whether the “All Users” section is for all students taking the February or July bar or if it is all students for a given year.  We also don’t know if that it is a national average or for a particular jurisdiction.

AdaptiBar Dashboard

Computer-based Training

The main point to know here is that Adaptibar is computer-based and therefore can be accessed from almost any computer, tablet, or phone.  If using a computer, you can access it through their website.  If using your mobile device or table, you can download their app directly from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

When using the mobile app (either on your phone or tablet), you can still practice questions on the app even if you don’t have access to the internet.  (This is great for when you are using public transportation to commute to and form work/school and lose internet connection in a tunnel.)

Being that the program is computer-based allows it to work to your benefit for several reasons:

  1. You can easily select the specific subject and topic areas that you would like to practice,
  2. In practice mode, you can see a detailed explanation to each question stem.
  3. The program times how long it takes you to answer each question.  This is crucial since you have approximately 1 minute and 48 seconds to answer each MBE question.  If you were to practice using a paper, you would need to keep track of your time on your own.
  4. The online program automatically tallies and keeps tracks of areas that you are doing well on and areas that you need improvement.  Using this information, you can then decide how to spend your studying time.  One option is to spend less time on areas that you know very well and instead focus more of your time on areas that you need improvement.

Highlight or Cross Off

Earlier in the post we mentioned that you can highlight sections of the question stem to help you focus on what is important (to help you disregard the noise).  Here is what that would look like:

AdaptiBar Highlighted Text

Additionally, as you review the answer choices, you can cross off the answer choice you believe is incorrect.  This will allow you to focus on getting to the correct answer.  Here is what that looks like:

AdaptiBar Answer Crossout

Explanations

Feedback is something we all seek in everything we do.  (Millennials are known in the workplace for seeking feedback.)

We are NOT perfect.  Therefore, everything we do can be improved on.  As a result, we are constantly seeking feedback and guidance on what we can do better and how.  This includes taking practice questions and exams.  The whole point of this exercise is to pass.  As you complete practice questions, you MUST get and review feedback on your performance.  You should know why you got a question wrong and what you can learn from the error you made.

Adaptibar includes an explanation for every single question you answer in its program.  When in practice mode and after you answer a question, you will see whether you answered correctly or incorrectly.  Either way, you will receive an explanation to the question stem (as shown below).

AdaptiBar Answer Explanation

It is highly recommended that you review the explanation, whether you received the question right or wrong.

Why?

Because if you answered correctly, you want to make sure that you applied the rule that you were supposed to apply in this case.  If you answered the question incorrectly, then the explanation will explain the question, the rule you should have applied, and why.

Reporting

One of the best features of Adaptibar is its reporting.

Why?

Because the program measures your progress and your performance.  You can keep track of how many questions you have completed.  You can also view your performance by subject area and topic – meaning you can view what percentage of questions you have answered correctly by subject area and topic.  You can use this information to help you understand where you need to focus your studying.

The following is a screenshot that shows how many questions have been answered in a particular subject and the performance in that subject.

AdaptiBar Performance by Subject Area

You can then drill down by subject area to view your performance by specific testing topic area within a particular subject, as shown below:

AdaptiBar Topic Performance by Subject Area

Based on this reporting, you now know which areas you are well versed in and which areas you need to focus your studying on.

Additional Features to help you Practice

Practice Mode

One of the main features of the Adaptibar program is that you can enter practice mode.  What this basically means is that you select the subject area(s) you want to practice and the system will display MBE questions for you based on the various topics that can be tested and have been tested in the past.

The question stem and answer choices will display as shown below.

AdaptiBar Question

While in practice mode, you can answer the question, pass it, or take a break by pressing the “Stop For Now” button.

If answered, then you will know right away whether you answered correctly or incorrectly.  You will receive an explanation for why the correct answer is correct and why the other answer choices are wrong.

AdaptiBar Answer Explanation

As you can see from the snapshot above, each question has an explanation as to why an answer choice is right versus wrong.

Timing

After answering each question, while in practice mode, you will receive an analysis of your performance for that particular question you just answered.

What this means is that:

  1. you will see how much time you spent on answering the question;
  2. what the average was based on other students who answered the same question; and
  3. what percentage of  students who completed that same question got the question right.

Here is what the analysis looks like:

AdaptiBar Question Performance

Conclusion

Here’s the takeaway.  Not everyone needs this program.  However, if you would rather study using actual MBE questions that were released by the NCBE, then this is a great option for you.

The ability to practice questions from anywhere (with an internet connection) and get feedback right away on why your answer choice was right or wrong is invaluable.

The other amazing benefit is the programs ability to automatically track your performance.  You simply do not have the time to waste to do this manually on your own.  The program automatically provides you with a detailed report on the specific topic areas that you need to improve on, so you can allocate your studying time accordingly.

The program is not cheap.  Therefore, if you choose to purchase the program and use it as a supplement to your bar preparation, then make sure you actually use it because there is a lot you can gain from it.  The ability to quickly know the specific areas that you need improvement on is invaluable.

The cost of the MBE preparation and simulator program is $395.  However, you can use this link and you will automatically receive a $30 discount, which will reduce the price to $365.  The discount will apply automatically during checkout.

Hopefully you found this AdaptiBar review valuable in helping you with your decision.

Disclosures:
– Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we have used personally or believe will add value to the preparation of your bar exam after a careful assessment of them.
– Virginia Bar Prep does not own any of the content within the screenshots shown above.  The screenshots (and the material/content within them) are used for the sole purpose of this educational review of the AdaptiBar MBE program.  The content and/or design are owned by their respective owners, such as AdaptiBar or the National Conference of Bar Examiners.

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